By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
ISLAMABAD (Worthy News) – At least 10 children were among the dead Saturday after a snowstorm hit a Pakistani resort town, and there were indications the death toll might climb here and in snow-stricken parts of neighboring Afghanistan.
The snowstorm stranded thousands in their vehicles overnight on a highway in Pakistan’s northeast. Authorities said at least 22 people — 10 men, 10 children, and two women — had been found dead.
Most died from hypothermia after thick snow fell fast near Murree, a vacation destination in the mountains about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of the capital, Islamabad, police said.
Eight of them were from the family of a fellow officer Ahmed, identified as Naveed Iqbal, who he also died in the cold, said Atiq Ahmed, an Islamabad police officer.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on social networking site Twitter that he was “shocked & upset” at the deaths of the tourists after an “unprecedented snowfall.”
Footage seen by Worthy News showed a bus packed inside and on the roof with passengers who managed to escape. Rescue teams struggled to reach people stuck in the snow.
In neighboring Afghanistan, snow and freezing temperatures in Kabul were reportedly threatening large parts of the population, now ruled by the Islamist Taliban group.
The rising cost of fuel to heat homes, a lack of adequate shelters, and harsh winter weather could leave millions of already vulnerable Afghans at risk, aid workers said.